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UK artists secured biggest share of US market in 2012, plus French and Aussie record sale figures

By | Published on Friday 8 February 2013

One Direction

Thanks in no small part to One Direction, Mumford & Sons and Adele ‘I did better than you lot without even leaving the house’ Adkins, British artists secured their biggest ever share of the all important US recorded music market in 2012, at 13.7%. I’d say something about their being a new ‘British Invasion’, but given how tetchy the NRA are at the moment, there’s a real risk they’d gun me down.

A BPI release confirming the record breaking stat also notes that Muse, Ed Sheeran, The xx, Cher Lloyd, Ellie Goulding, Jessie J and even “we’re all about the music” reality TV stars The Wanted all also contributed to the impressive unit shifting by British artists in the US last year, and unlike in movie land, none of them had to pretend to be evil geniuses to woo the yanks (though, by coincidence, Adele is a genius and The Wanted are evil).

Commenting on all this American success for the Brits, BPI chief Geoff Taylor told CMU: “It’s officially a new British Invasion. British labels are discovering unique talent and using social media to help build fanbases right around the world, in particular in the US, where fans have such an affinity for British music. Increasing our share of the US market for three years in a row is an encouraging sign for the future. It’s an exciting time to be part of the British music industry – as a country we can be very proud of our artists and of the British music companies who invest in them”.

Talking of international record sales stats, the French record industry recently revealed that its collective revenues in 2012 were down again by 4.4%, with a further drop in physical sales of 11.9% meaning that a 13% growth in digital didn’t result in growth overall. Digital now accounts for 25% of the French recorded music market, and of that digital revenue, half comes from downloads, 28% from subscription-based services, and 14% from ad-funded platforms, which was pretty similar to the previous year, though subscription set-ups were up 5%.

The French record industry also called on the country’s government to maintain its Hadopi programme for targeting illegal file-sharers – as previously reported, political types have cooled to the initially hard-line anti-piracy programme, which is currently being reviewed, just as strike three of the so called three-strikes system was about to properly kick in. The review is due to report next month.

In Australia, though, a little good news, as recorded music sales for the last year increased by 4%, with an uplift in digital revenues coupled with a slowing in physical product decline combining to create some positive news. 46% of Aussie recorded music sales are now digital-based. Dan Rosen, boss of Aussie trade body ARIA, said: “The continued innovation in new music services, means fans of all types, can now get their music when and how they want, whether by streaming, downloading or visiting their local record store. This access, combined with a host of great local and international releases, means it is a great time to be a music fan in Australia”.